The Book of Fate Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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From Publishers Weekly
Set against a backdrop of Oval Office corruption, bestseller Meltzer's overblown thriller opens with a frantic assassination attempt on President Leland Manning, who manages to elude the gunfire. Manning's deputy chief of staff, Ron Boyle, is killed, and his top aide, the cocky, ambitious Wes Holloway, is left facially disfigured. Eight years later, his motivation and confidence drained by his handicap, Holloway still toils away for the out-of-office Manning, fetching refreshments and handling the daily social calendar. On a goodwill junket to Malaysia, however, Holloway spots Boyle, surgically altered, but unmistakably the same man who was supposed to be dead and gone. From this turning point, Meltzer (The Zero Game) follows Holloway step by excruciatingly slow step as he tries to find out what really happened eight years earlier. Authentic details about Washington politics and historical mysteries enliven the predictable path. While readers looking for efficient plotting may be disappointed, Meltzer's many fans will enjoy this substantial meal of a book. 15-city author tour. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Wes Holloway, a hotshot presidential aide, is wounded in an assassination attempt that kills the president's close friend. Eight years later, the dead man reappears, disfigured but very much alive and apparently stalking the former president. Wes thinks he can figure out what's going on, but to do so he must decipher a two-century-old code and penetrate the secrets of Masonic history. From his first novel, The Tenth Justice (1997), through his sixth, Identity Crisis (2005), Meltzer has served up exciting thrillers that take readers behind the scenes of American politics. The pattern doesn't change this time. Like the television series The West Wing, Meltzer's novels focus on the political people the public never sees and tells the stories we never hear. He could be accused here of jumping on the Da Vinci Code bandwagon, but that wouldn't really be fair. He's too good a writer to waste his time imitating someone else's work, and this novel is much more skillfully written--and far more plausible--than Dan Brown's tedious best-seller. The characters are genuine human beings--not all that common in the world of high-concept thrillers--and the plot fluidly integrates historical fact and fiction, which is even less common. Fans of thrillers that reach far back into history will be, well, . . . thrilled. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Wes Holloway is a presidential aide to US President Leland Manning. Having caused a scheduling error, Deputy Chief of Staff Ron Boyle missed his meeting with the President and is pissed at Holloway. Trying to smooth things over, Wes invites Boyle into the Presidents limo as it travels to a NASCAR promotional event. No one can predict how the event will end; but it will end in blood.
When Nico, a man bent on uncovering the secrets of the Masons that have infected the White House, takes a shot at President Manning, he does two things: disfigures Wes Holloway and kills Ron Boyle. At least, that is what everyone thinks. Eight years later, when Holloway, still a presidential aide, sees Boyle back stage at one of Manning's speeches, his life is turned upside down.
Though no one believes him, Wes knows that Boyle is back. For what purpose, he cant' know. But when Wes begins to dig, he discovers a secret that will shake the foundation upon which the
United States was built. Wes suspects that Manning invited Boyle behind stage that day to wait for him, that Manning is involved with a group called The Three.
Free Masons are an organization older than time. What started as a group of free masons who built structures became an organized secret society that uses secrets, symbols and mystery to gain power. Only the elite can become a Free Mason, only the most powerful. Has President Manning fallen under their spell like other
US Presidents before him?
Why is Boyle back?Read more ›
Within a few pages, you find out that former wet-behind-the-ears presidential aide, Wes Holloway, had his face disfigured in an assassination attempt on the president, Leland Manning, during a re-election campaign stop at a NASCAR race event, where the president lost his best friend, Ron Boyle, in the shooting. Eight years later, Wes is still working for the former president and stumbles onto Boyle (whose face has been transformed by plastic surgery) backstage during a speaking event by Manning in Malaysia. Boyle bolts, and Wes is left with a lot of uncomfortable questions about what's going on. Surprisingly, Wes doesn't say a word to Manning, but begins to check into what's going on.
Wes's quiet investigation parallels a desperate search by two shadowy figures for Boyle, who follow Wes in hopes of locating Boyle that way. A third figure introduces us to the assassin, Nicholas (Nico) Hadrian, who has been fed a conspiracy theory about manipulation by the Masons to help satan.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Well, after reading this book, I don't have the foggiest notion what that blurb's supposed to mean. I don't even have any idea what the Book of Fate is.
This book turns out to be simply a political conspiracy book, a pale imitation of a Baldacci book, and nowhere near as good. I have absolutely no idea at all what the title refers to, there's no Jeffersonian or Masonic history in here worth mentioning, and whatever that blurb's talking about never takes place. Maybe the blurb and title were meant for some other book and got mixed up in the computer; who knows?
The plotting is pedestrian. The characters are unsympathetic; I didn't care one bit about any of them. The "conspiracy" was so contorted I couldn't even follow it. And didn't even care. This was a very clumsy book.
1.5 stars, and I'm being generous with that.
The Book of Fate has so many holes it is difficult to point to them all. From Wes, the main characters disfiguring involvement in an assassination attempt on a future president to the "three", a group of law enforcement officers who pull off evil escapades far beyond belief.
The whole story is a house of cards. One damnably idiotic silly plot strain stacked upon another and bringing it to a point in the end that is almost laughable. I wonder if Meltzer sketched out the story before starting on this book, or if he just had some idea and it built momentum as he wrote. Either way, its a disaster. I cant think of an author actually penning out the ideas for this book and saying "hmmmmm, this is a good idea."
The worst thing is Meltzers use of the Da Vinci code phenomena. He plops in a few bits of cryptic gobley gook pertaining to Thomas Jefferson and the Masons, only it leads nowhere at all.
I would not recommend this book to anyone. I was totally looking forwards to reading it, and ended with thoughts of disgust.
In the author's notes on page 509 Brad said his information about freemasons are based on three years of research. If he said 30 minutes... I might believe it. There was little mention of fate or masons throughout the book. It almost seemed that Meltzer knew that a lot of freemason stuff is coming out with Dan Brown soon and wanted to jump on the bandwagon ahead of Dan. It feels like he wrote this book and then later came back and added a few freemasons things in to create more buzz.
Brad should stick with politics and interplay. He knows politics. He seemed way over his head trying to be the next Dan Brown. He should refrain from making profound statements about life - there is simply no gravity. He should write about things he knows about.
Saying that... was the book fun? Yes - but Brad should stop the pity angle with his main character... it was overplayed. Was the plot worth it? Not really. Too simple in a very complicated arena of intelligence (another area that Brad only seemed to understand just a little). Would I recommend "The Book of Fate"? Change the mason draw (since there isn't much at all about freemasons) and the title.. and then maybe just for fun. But definitely read "The Zero Game."
I fell in love with it in first pages. This book is great if you like mystery, secrets, action and stories about Freemasons. Brad will take you spinning in the mystery through out the book. It will keep you up at night time and it will be hard to put down. Really recomend it to people who like mysteries and Freemason stories. After this book I started to read more about Freemasons. Also I thing Meltzer has done a good job on research for this book.
BRAD MELTZER...do the right thing. Recast this book! It is far from finished. You have cheated your readers. A good start...but you are a year away from publication quality. Oh yes, and shame on you Warner books. i won't forget.